Consumer Information

Gift Card Bonus / Mobile Site

PC Optimum Members have until tomorrow, the 28th of December 2022, to get 10,000 bonus points on $100 Apple Card purchases at participating Shoppers Drugs Mart stores. And there is a limit of $500 worth of cards and 10 card maximum.

BTW, i’ve made a mobile friendly site for people using their cell phones or tablets, mainly for people who are visiting retailers offline. Click here to access this site.

Canada Post/Weather Update

The above was posted by Canada Post on Facebook. And unfortunately some people will need to contact their local retailers to know if they’ll be open or not.

Many of these retailer have already posted notices on their websites, Facebook or Twitter, so you might want to take a look at their official sites and social media feeds before going out.

Stay Warm.

Gift Card Bonuses

The following bonus offers are available:

AmazonAmazon gift cards are not the only gift card available from this online retailer. You can find other cards that can be email or physically sent to recipient on their Specialty Gift Card Shop. And a $10 credit offer is available on Apple cards until December 21st, 2022.

Cineplex – You can get $60 worth of bonuses on every $50 gift card purchase, which is redeemable online and in theatre for cinema tickets and online film rentals or purchases. Click here for details. This offer ends on December 31st, 2022 and the bonus offers are redeemable in the new year until March 31st, 2023. And BTW, this is the last night you can get 2X the Scene Points on theatre tickets.

Landmark Cinemas – You can get a free movie ticket for every $30 Gift card purchase at Landmark Cinemas until January 5th, 2023. This free ticket will be redeemable in the new year until May 2nd, 2023. Click here for details.

PC Optimum – The 15,000 bonus points offer on $250 Apple gift card purchases ends today at participating Shoppers Drug Mart stores but you have until the 14th to visit participating Real Canadian Superstores to get 5000 bonus points per $50 Apple gift card up to a maximum of 50,000 points (or 10 X $50 gift cards).

Rakuten Gift Cart Shop – You can obtain cash back on Rakuten Canada on your online purchases for hundreds of retailers and you can also obtain cash back on gift card purchases by clicking on “Gift Card Shop” on the menu on this site, which will be shipped to you for free.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Tips

The sales are already on strong so here are some tips to help you save a few bucks:

Comparison Shopping with Honey

I use a browser extension called Honey to keep track of the price of specific future purchases and use this app’s in browser information to know if something had just gone up or down in price on Amazon Canada, Best Buy Canada, Newegg Canada and several other online retailers I use.

This app installs in your browser and adds a orange tag with and stylish H in it to the top right of your browser, with allows you to view the recent price changes for the product you’re viewing and applicable coupons at checkout, which is quite useful.

I doesn’t work on every Canadian retailer online but the list of American retailers it works is extensive, so you should definitely consider installing it, especially if you import from the states often.

Rebates via Rakuten

Rakuten Canada is another browser extension I use regularly to get money back on my purchases and they’re offering higher rebates for some stores for Black Friday.

I personally use them on my online orders from Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Old Navy, Microsoft Canada icon, Home Depot, Home Hardware, Micheals, Staples, Well.ca, The Source, Joe Fresh, Shoppers+, NordVPN and eBay. And the payments are made in the middle of the month to my PayPal account but I also have the choice to have an Amazon gift card or mailed cheque.

They’re also offering extra rebates for this period, as well as a $30 welcome rebate to new users.

Bonus Air Miles

You can get bonus Air Miles by purchasing via Airmilesshops.ca and occasionally by purchasing select gift cards at participating Shell gas stations, although the latter is only offered randomly so you need to check your local station to see if it’s active.

The list of participating Canadian retailers is extensive and you can get bonus Air Miles from American retailers. But if you don’t use Google Chrome you’ll need to access the above linked website because their browser extension is exclusive to Google Chrome.

Bonus Optimum Points & More

Bonus points offers for PC Optimum are regularly offered on gift card purchases at Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix stores. And these are listed in the Optimum Points app and on their weekly flyers.

These points are redeemable in store, online at Joe Fresh and shop.shoppersdrugmart.ca, the latter carrying some electronics.

Misc. Offers from Scene Plus

If you go to Cineplex Theatres often or shop a Sobeys or FreshCo grocery stores you might know the Scene+ program, especially if you’re a Scotiabank card holder or eat frequently at Harveys restaurants.

This program offers redeemable points that can be linked to Rakuten Canada. But you can also redeem these points directly at the aforementioned retailers or for gift cards, including gift cards for Canadian retailers Indigo Books and Home Hardware.

Comparison Shopping Online

If you can shop online, you can compare prices on in stock items more easily and have your purchases delivered or held for pick up.

This all enables you to avoid the lines and crowds, which is a good idea now that we’re in flu season, on top of the multiple respiratory diseases lingering around.

If you do need to go out you can still always use hand sanitizer, distance yourself from others and possibly wear a N95/KN95 face mask, which I recommend.

Have a safe Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

SiriusXM Canada

Paramount+ Update

It appears that Paramount+ has listened to complaints and has added the Star Trek catalogue to their streaming service in Canada, which I just discovered when redeeming a free three month subscription through the Monopoly promotion at McDonalds.

They’ve also added quite a few classic television sitcoms like Cheers, Frasier, Family Ties, I Love Lucy and The Love Boat, as well as the more contemporary hit series like South Park, Beavis & Butthead and Red & Stimpy. And all of the Mission Impossible films are also on there.

To get this offer you need to create an account at Mcdpromotion.ca and enter five codes from the game pieces you get when buying participating products at McDonalds. And these 12 digit codes are also available on winning pieces for free food. But I believe the offer ends on November 30th, 2022 so you’d need to enter the necessary codes and activate your trial membership by then.

By the way, a monthly subscription for this streaming service is $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

Best VPN Service (English Banners)

Who wants to pay more for basic cable?

Yes, Telus has been charging a 1.5% fee whenever their customers use a credit card since mid-October and now Bell Canada, Cogeco, Eastlink and Sasktel applied to start upping their rates every year “based on the annual consumer price index for the period ending December 31 of the preceding calendar year”, which means everyone will likely be paying way more for something that gets less and less appealing every year.

I currently stream most of the television programs I watch on a Roku television or watch over the air broadcast using a digital antenna and LTE/5G filter so I question the logic of hiking basic cable when most people are cutting the cord and starting to watch the Canadian networks online.

Some of them still charge fees for some of their programming but when it comes to news and weather, these are available free from CBC, Radio Canada, Global, CTV and The Weather Network via their apps, which are available for mobile devices and on smart televisions. And I suspect they will eventually offer advertisement sponsored streaming and time shifting, like CBC and Radio Canada have.

When it comes to comedy and drama that also airs on television, I now find myself watching them on Youtube, Prime Video and Disney+, basically viewing cable as a bonus in a discounted package with cell service, where I occasionally record programs that are unavailable online.

I also binge watch series on Netflix and Prime Video, the latter making Global and multiple other networks available for relatively affordable rates, so I believe these hikes are not conducive to the retaining of subscribers.

Bell just recently upgraded their fibre network, allowing some to download and upload at speeds up to 3 GBPS. And these occurred in multiple cities where over the air broadcasts are strong and readily available to most residents of these cities, so what could stop an independent provider from offering basic cable packages at less than $20.

I suspect most subscribers would be happy paying less for 1080p broadcasts, which is what one finds over the air, and prefer tuning into 4k primarily for films and sports. And Netflix is also still loosing subscribers so I think this hike is not fully thought out.

Is Bell trying to nudge people towards Crave, a streaming service that has just recently dropped prices to attract more subscribers? Who knows. But you have until October 28th, 2022 to comment on the proposal to hike basic cables rates from $25 to $28 “with subsequent yearly adjustments based on inflation“.

Sennheiser (Canada) Inc.